Flatbed van insurance

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What is a flatbed van?

Flatbed vans typically have a flat, level bed with no roof. A standard flatbed van has no sides, while dropside vans have low, hinged sides that can be dropped for easier loading and unloading.

Flatbed vans are most commonly used by the building trade, for carrying materials and equipment to and from building sites.

Flatbed vans are generally used for work purposes, so you’ll need to find the right commercial van insurance for the specific build and function of your flatbed van.

What type of insurance will I need for my flatbed van?

If you use your van for work, you’ll need commercial van insurance.

There are two main types of commercial van insurance for flatbed and dropside vans:

  • Carriage of own goods. This covers your van and any tools, equipment and materials owned by you, your employer or business partner – for business use. It doesn’t cover any goods owned by others.
  • Haulage (carriage of goods for hire and reward). This type of insurance covers your van if you use it to transport goods owned by someone else for payment – for example, furniture removals. It will also cover you for carrying your own business-related goods, too.

Neither type of policy will allow you to carry passengers for hire or reward, but you’re unlikely to be using your van as a taxi.

As flatbed vans are open at the back, most policies won’t cover items that are left in the bed unattended, or overnight.

You might also want to consider breakdown cover so you don’t get stranded by the side of the road when you’re in the middle of a job.

Public liability insurance can protect you if, for example, you damage someone else’s property while you’re loading or unloading your van.

What level of cover do I need for my flatbed van?

The minimum level of cover required by law is third party insurance. If you’re in an accident, this will cover you for damage to another vehicle, or injuries sustained by a third party that are your fault. What it won’t cover is any damage to your own van, your own medical expenses, or protection against theft.  

It’s also worth knowing that third-party insurance isn’t always necessarily the cheapest. It can make sense to compare between levels of cover to see what, if any, difference there is.

A step up from that would be third-party fire and theft, which offers the same cover as third party insurance, with added protection against fire damage and theft.  

Comprehensive insurance includes everything you’d expect from a third-party fire and theft policy, but also can protect you in the event of personal injury, as well as damage to your van. 

Frequently asked questions

Does flatbed van insurance cover tools as standard?

Most standard insurance policies won’t cover the tools and equipment carried in your van. However, tools and equipment insurance can usually be added as an optional extra, or taken out as a separate standalone policy.

Be aware that insurance providers will often require you to take certain security measures, and most won’t cover your tools if you leave them in the van overnight. Check the details of the policy so you know what you need to do.

What else do I need to know about flatbed van insurance?

If you’re using your flatbed van for work, make sure you’ve opted for business use on your policy. Otherwise you could find it’s invalidated when you come to claim. 

If you’ve modified your van in any way – by changing the bodywork, engine or exhaust – you’ll also need to make that clear. That’s because it could be seen as an added risk and could therefore affect the price of your premium. 

How do I get a better deal on my flatbed van insurance?

There are a few things you can do that could help you get a better deal on your flatbed van insurance:

  • Build up a no-claims discount (NCD) – any NCD you’ve already accumulated should be shown on your renewal reminder or cancellation letter from you current insurance provider.
  • Pay a higher voluntary excessyour voluntary excess is how much you choose to pay upfront when you make a claim. Insurance providers usually add a compulsory excess to this, so make sure you can afford both.
  • Keep your van secure – securing your van with an immobiliser and using an approved alarm and tracker could lower your insurance premium.

You don’t need to spend hours trawling the internet to find the right deal. Let us do the hard work for you. Simply enter a few details about you and your vehicle and we’ll show you a list of insurance quotes suitable for flatbed vans.

Rob Warren

From the Van team

What our expert says

“Before you buy van insurance for your flatbed or dropside van, read the terms and conditions for any restrictions that might apply, such as driver age. Policies can vary between insurance providers.

“If you’re unsure of what’s covered and excluded, contact the insurance provider directly for expert advice.”

What do I need to get a quote?

To get a quick and simple van insurance quote, you’ll need:

  • Your vehicle details
  • Your personal details including your claims history and any driving convictions
  • Details of any additional drivers you want on the insurance
  • Your current insurance policy details